Returns from New Pension System schemes are hugely volatile

Returns from NPS have varied between 12.52% and 1.82% even for bond schemes, since they are market-determined. This is sure to put off savers. Even a massive dose of financial literacy will not help

An analysis of the performance of pension fund managers in the New Pension System (NPS) shows huge volatility in the returns of various schemes and this could put off many savers.

Over the past three years, returns of the schemes for the unorganised sector have varied from 23.51% to -3.15%. This surprising volatility in the returns of NPS, when the investments are supposed to be straitjacketed, will scare away Indian savers, who simply will not associate volatility with a pension plan. This factor alone will ensure that NPS for the voluntary sector will remain a non-starter.

While it is true that NPS returns are market-determined and therefore bound to be volatile, Indian savers, who largely shun equities and mutual funds, would not want to be part of something like this, for a very long time. This would be a big blow to the scheme at a time when the government is set to adopt a new and improved PFRDA Bill into an Act.

The NPS was launched for all citizens of the country, including workers in the unorganised sector, on a voluntary basis, with effect from 1 May 2009. However, returns for the unorganised sector have been abysmal and extremely volatile. In certain cases the schemes investing in government securities and corporate bonds have delivered negative returns. If this is the case, it would be difficult to enlist voluntary subscription for the pension scheme.

For the period 2009-10 and 2010-11, the returns for unorganised sector workers from six fund managers ranged between 12.52% and 1.82% for government securities, 12.66% and 4.02% for corporate bonds, and 25.94% and 7.95% for equity. For the period January 2011 to June 2011, returns on the schemes of corporate bonds and government securities in Tier I & II have ranged from 1.99% to -0.88%.

Six fund managers (UTI Retirement Solutions Limited, SBI Pension Funds Pvt Ltd, IDFC Pension Fund Management Co Ltd, ICICI Prudential Pension Funds Management Co Ltd, Kotak Mahindra Pension Fund Ltd and Reliance Capital Pension Fund Ltd) managed funds for subscribers since May 2009. Each of the fund managers manage three schemes - Scheme E (Equity), Scheme C (fixed income instruments other than government securities), and Scheme G (government securities).

SBI performed poorly in equity schemes, but did well in fixed income schemes, and some like UTI and IDFC did really well only in equity schemes. The spread between the returns of the fund managers for a particular period and scheme was enormous, going to as much as 8% in certain cases. Since this is the nascent stage, we cannot accurately judge the performance of the fund managers. If returns between different funds remain hugely uneven, savers will be scared off.

In equity schemes, from May 2009 to March 2010, in Tier I of the NPS where no withdrawal is allowed, UTI was the best performer with a return of 26%, whereas SBI was the lowest of the six with an 8% return, a huge difference of 18%. In 2010-11, Kotak and ICICI took the lead with a return of 12% and SBI and UTI provided returns of 8% each. In the first quarter of the current financial year, all the schemes have seen negative returns. The performance was more or less similar for Tier II as well.

In Scheme C, for the period May 2009 to March 2010, SBI, ICICI, IDFC and Kotak, delivered a return of 10%, whereas Reliance and UTI delivered returns of 5% and 4%. In FY2010-11, SBI was the best with 13%, whereas IDFC was the lowest at 6.26%.

SBI's continued its good show in government securities as well, with returns of 10% and 12% for the two periods. Returns in 2009-10 were as low as 2% as was the case for UTI and IDFC.  In 2010-11, UTI provided a return of 13% and IDFC was at 7%.

According to NPS guidelines, savers can put money in any of the following schemes.

Asset class E (equity market instruments) - The investment in this asset class would be subject to a cap of 50%. This asset class will be invested in index funds that replicate the portfolio of either the BSE Sensitive index or the NSE Nifty 50 index. These schemes invest in securities in the same weightage comprising an index.

Asset class G (government securities) - This asset class will be invested in central government bonds and state government bonds.

Asset class C (credit risk bearing fixed income instruments) - This asset class will be invested in the following instruments:

(i) Liquid funds of AMCs regulated by SEBI.

(ii) Fixed deposits of scheduled commercial banks.

(iii) Debt securities with maturity of not less than three years tenure issued by bodies corporate, including scheduled commercial banks and public financial institutions.

(iv) Credit-rated public financial institutions/PSU bonds.

(v) Credit-rated municipal bonds/infrastructure bonds.

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    8 years ago

    Very good analysis of NPS. I would welcome if you mention alternatives of NPS too.


    D A Bhatt

    In Reply to SANTOSH 8 years ago

    If option is offered, it is better to withdraw from nps. My perception is that even in most favourable conditions it can not deliever more than 3% to 4% return to private subscribers at the time of retirement due to modus operandii and Methamatical/ empirical algorithums adopted by PFMs to deside calculating NAVs of CLASS E,C,G. It appears to be a ULIP having lower srevice charges. This is my perception about NPS.


    8 years ago

    Do Not Put All Eggs In ONE Basket can be a Mantra for investing in NPS.

    D A Bhatt

    8 years ago

    Ptivate subscribers with autochoise life cycle fund are getting negative return in nps from the day of their entry.Some need based imrovements may be incorporate on priority basis, else future is blink.


    8 years ago

    Govt wanted to impose this hugely volatile Pension Fund upon lower/ middle class investors. Because of these drawbacks, Govt. also avoided distributors and advertisements. This has turned blessings for the small investors, as there was no one to recommend the Pension Fund. and hence no takers.!
    I donot understand why SEBI did not object to the sale of this poor quality and highly volatile, risky investment !(even after saving huge expenditure !)

    R Nandy

    8 years ago

    With the 3 asset class options given in nps there should also be a fixed return asset class giving returns equal to EPF.All the 3 asset classes given now are volatile in nature.I don,t see any of them useful for a person who will retire in the near term and doesn't want to get exposed to the vagaries of the market.

    Utpal Kumar

    8 years ago

    They are determined to fail this NPS idea till it is designed in such a way that it earn them good commission.


    NPS as it is for very long period , and the funds which are invested today or the funds which will be invested in next 10 years will remain in corpus till perpetuity. I see no reason to mark it market at least in GoI bond , and to some extent in Corporate Bonds as well unless issuer defaults.


    8 years ago

    NPS has failed,
    how can Index funds have such huge difference ranging from 12%-2% & i also have doubts on whether at such low cost pension funds can be managed?
    Is long term money ,only left to be forgotten by investor, hoping that fund managers would generate aleast decent returns.....


    8 years ago

    NPS is long term investment but initial return data are not so encouraging

    Rambabu Shastri

    8 years ago

    NPS was launched at the wrong time. Had it been launched 30 years ago, you would have probably seen record returns (long term returns) and everyone jumping to get into NPS. However, remember, that stocks are now nothing but over-valued paper and the same are sold daily in stock markets. Stock markets are now a casino, supported by government funds. The NPS was launched at a time when money was needed to prop markets.

    audhakar kulkarni

    8 years ago

    One must keep in mind that this is long term investment plan and the volatility is taken care due to long term investment, our observation so far clearly indicates that returns from long term investments having combination of debt & equity are about 12% and as such one need not get disturbed by present trend.


    8 years ago

    thank you for the valuable informations...

    Inflation, high-price credit, and how your EPFO may end up footing the bill

    With interest rates climbing and the government placing the management of EPFO funds largely in private hands, the provident fund scheme could become a less attractive savings option

    What has the increase in interest rates, announced on Tuesday by the Reserve Bank of India, got to do with your EPFO (Employees' Provident Fund Organisation)? Especially the little understood and complicated pension part, but also the larger PF part itself? Here are just a few simple points.

    For the salaried and the middle class, a period of serious belt-tightening is predicted, especially for those who have loans to be repaid. If you listen to the talking heads on TV, it sounds very easy; a big vapid smile and then the advice to "increase tenure to reduce the EMI". But in reality, all that this achieves is what is known as a "perpetual horizon" and larger repayments towards the interest component of your loan. The interest component of your EPFO savings and other diversions to products like pension scheme, as well as service charges levied, become all the more important now.
    Each rupee going as additional interest repayment due to higher interest rates hurts; but each rupee lost for whatever reason, which should have been earned but appears to vanish due to EPFO tactics, is going to hurt even worse, since it doubles the loss now.

    Most of all, with inflation shooting up too, EPFO might just become a less attractive option as an automatic savings device, especially in view of the recent announcements that a private foreign bank, Standard Chartered, with its glorious track record in India, is now the "custodian of securities" for the government EPFO. In addition, the EPFO has appointed four fund managers—the State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HSBC Bank and Reliance Capital—to look after EPFO funds, in both the public and the private sector, and also in the stock market.
    (This is what Standard Chartered Bank stated in a court case in another episode, where they managed to lose the money of their investors. "Standard Chartered is contesting the claim and has said it is not liable for the lost money, arguing the investors were experienced and had signed papers exempting the bank from any duty to monitor their transactions. The bank would not be liable for the accuracy or completeness of such advice or recommendation," Standard Chartered Bank said in its response to the claim. - )
    Agreed, it is not Standard Chartered Bank alone, but all the same, why now in these super-heated days of scams unfolding, has EPFO gone to a foreign private bank, linked to multiple tax havens abroad, when there are ample Indian banks with equally good or maybe even better people and assets? There are, as usual, no pre-clarifications available from the EPFO, whether on its website, in its media announcements, or anywhere else. Just a bunch of happy campers signing our money away, in what appears to be a depressingly familiar repeat.
    This is indeed dangerous news overall for the EPFO, which as of date covers about five crore employees and has about Rs350,000 crore of investible funds (though records are not up-to-date at most EPFO offices even till 2009) and about Rs60,000 crore coming in every year, and a surplus of about Rs20,000 crore for investment. What was wrong with keeping these activities with government-owned banks and institutions, since the strongest point that the EPFO has for everybody is that it is totally kept away from any private games and controlled in every way by the Indian government?
    For those who may wonder at the strong opposition this writer has to private participation in handling EPFO funds, the last time the Government of India placed one of its government provident funds into private hands, we had what is often referred to as the 'Home Trade Seaman's Provident Fund Scam', forgotten by many (though this writer as an ex-seafarer can recall those painful days which lasted for almost a decade before the government bailed the fund out) and the fact that it was endorsed by Sachin Tendulkar, amongst others, also seems to have been forgotten. The list of foreign banks involved would read like a who's who.

    Incidentally, a little-known amendment to the Seaman's Provident Fund Act 1966, in 2007, which can also be applicable to the Employees' Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1952 with its various interventions subsequently, as per some interpretations, says: "The Central Government shall not be liable to compensate or indemnify any loss caused to the Fund by deposits in an approved bank referred to in Section 4 or investment in securities or due to mismanagement, misappropriation or otherwise by the Board, any of its trustees, employees or any other person at any time."

    Brilliant! One of the biggest safeguards that the employed middle class has, has suddenly gone into a bit of a loop. If the Central Government will not be liable to compensate, then who will for a government-run provident fund?
    The prevailing wisdom and suggestion which many, including this writer, have put forth, has always been that a good employer who really means all she says about her employees will automatically provide a maximum possible option on EPFO, and a smart employee will grab it with both hands. Mainly because it is totally secured by the government. Let me make it clear right now that it is not just this writer, but a few other people who understand the business of provident fund in India, as well as the way private banks really work, who feel that the goalposts have arbitrarily and suddenly been changed by the Central Board of Trustees of the EPFO in India.

    There is, however, one little understood component of the EPFO which people tend to ignore, forget, or simply are often not aware of. Many who are aware are simply confused by the multiple-choice options and the twists and turns within. This one does not seem to benefit from increased interest rates, does not have any sort of protection against inflation and most of all, it does not give you the right to even touch the principal, except under very member-unfriendly conditions. This is called the 'Employee Pension Scheme 1995' or EPS 1995, and is capable of providing opinions which vary from totally against it to those that claim it is the best thing to happen to people who are looking for steady income after retirement with maximum benefits.
    As expected, the truth lies somewhere in the middle, and a lot depends on how you and your employer structure things. At this juncture, pension scheme will be the subject of my next article. Till then it would help if you simply ask your employers to provide you with a document outlining how much your pension scheme balances are as per their calculations, and then file an RTI with the EPFO asking them the same question.

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    roopa dalabanjan

    3 years ago

    I am appointed as sda in state government in 2006 and Ian an Nps subscribersubscribe I want to know whether I can withdraw partial amount on my Nps account or get a loan against it please let me know


    9 years ago

    EPS 1995 has not been revised since last 26 years. Employee, Member of EPS 1995 gets Rs. 1500 to 1600 per month for his investment of last 26 years and above. Is there any hope of revise


    9 years ago

    Very rightly argued by the author and thanks. Coupled wioth the toroughly corruption-ridden EPFO, this is very anti-working class move by way of creating a positive disintensive against the PF mode of saving. In other words, the bureaucracy-politician hegemony is against savings as an insurance against future. The pernicious effects of this will be clear in the short term itself, while politicians and their bureaucratic cohorts will be nurturing their funds stashed abroad.


    9 years ago

    I don't understand why government can't bring in trasparency in EPFO. They have setup SEBI, PFRDA, IRDA and god knows so many regularity bodies to keep private financial entities tamed and talk about EPFO, they have zero transparency OR accountability.

    R Vijayaraghavan

    9 years ago

    Very good article which gives timely warnings to the salaried class. Please continue the good work and keep us informed about how we can safeguard our EPF and PPF investments

    Your EPFO savings could be at risk, unless you secure some important aspects yourself

    The attitude towards employees, who actually go to an EPFO office, or try to communicate with them directly, is ‘here is somebody who wants his money, how dare he. Let us do as much as we can to trouble him or her, or the nominees, and meanwhile make merry.’ Can the EPFO be trusted completely?

    Here's a question that can be answered with both 'true' and 'false', and both answers will be correct. "Do you think that one of the best savings options available in the country for the salaried class is the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) scheme?"

    True: Hardly anything else gives you tax exemption at all three stages of investment, interest earned and withdrawal. The rate of interest, currently at 9.5%, is among the highest guaranteed interest rates, in this case with the backing and security of the Government of India. There is no upper limit on investment and you can make your employer match your contribution up to 12.5% of your total salary if you choose to. And finally, there appears to be a high level of computerisation and online resources, or at least a promise of the same.

    False: Between the employers and the EPFO, they will try to keep the company's contribution to a minimum, by all sorts of tricks and false advice. The accounts are a mess. Interest calculation is skewed against us, the constituents/employees. Computerisation is still a distant promise. The online facilities are terribly complicated. And most of all, the EPFO is one government department which appears to be involved in all sorts of fraud, a new one every day, and from all sections and segments of society. And the pension part is totally unprotected for inflation.
    A few weeks ago I received information about a case where somebody had just received an EPFO slip for the FY2008-2009 that said, "DOB/DOJ is not available, please furnish the information through your employer." Since this person is now no longer working with the employer in question, he made some enquiries on his own and discovered that not only had the data for his date of birth and date of joining gone missing, but there was also some confusion and lack of data regarding his address, the spelling of his parent's name and worst of all, a total error in the spelling of the name of the nominee.

    In addition, he was told verbally that since he had not come forward to correct the errors within six months of the date mentioned in the slip, which expired end-September 2009, it was assumed that the data was correct, and to change it now he would have to perform a vast variety of documentation-related activities, as well as probably genuflect multiple times at the subject EPFO office.
    Please note, the slip for 2008-2009 was received by him from his ex-company in July 2011, which delay could have also been due to complicity between the company and the EPFO office, so there was no way this person could have even known that his personal details had suddenly gone adrift, after all these years. And the typical approach towards employees who actually go to an EPFO office, or try to communicate with them directly, is worse than in any other government or private telecom office you can think of. The attitude is that "Here is somebody who wants his money, how dare he, let us do as much as we can to trouble him or her, or the nominees, and meanwhile make merry." If s/he wants his/her money, then we will make them beg for it, is the message that comes out from behind all those citizen's charters.

    Luckily there are options, in this day and age of the Right to Information Act, 2005, as well as the simple fact that the EPFO head office in Bhikaji Cama Place, New Delhi, is certainly effective in motivating correctives. But how many people use these routes? Most of them end up falling in neat traps set for them at the local EPFO offices, with the wide assortment of agents and touts who appear to flourish in that eco-system, and then get sucked into the spiral of corruption and fraud surrounding many of the EPFO offices.

    So, step one is to write to your employer, or ex-employer, or the specific employer in whose name and number your personal EPFO account operates, and ask them for the following specific details:

    # The latest EPFO amount in your account as applicable on 31st of March of the latest year as per their calculations.
    # The latest EPFO slip if received from the EPFO, and if not received, then copies of correspondence pertaining to this delay. (By now you should have received the slips for FY 2010-2011 for amounts as of 31st March 2011.)
    # Copies of personal data, nomination, DOB, DOJ and other details as filed by the company with the EPFO.
    # Copies of latest Form 12A, Form 5, Form 10 and copies of challans as filed by the company with the EPFO going back to your DOJ.
    # Copies of any pending investigations or queries that the EPFO has with the company.
    # Copies of details of authorised signatories that the company has, and has had in the past with the EPFO.
    Mark a copy of this letter to the relevant EPFO office that your account is in, by email as well as by registered post, and email a copy to the EPFO head office in New Delhi also. All contact details are available at their websites:;

    Here it is important to point out that in all likelihood, unless the employer has a very pro-active and employee-friendly HR and accounts/F&A group, then you are not likely to receive most of this information, which is yours by right. The reality is that most companies depend on their EPFO agents, who depend on making the whole system as opaque as possible, and that there is always reason to believe that the HR/F&A/accounts people like it that way. Maybe it gives them power; maybe it is also true that frauds at EPFO simply cannot happen without participation of employers; maybe some other reason. {break}
    We come to the second step, because, remember, this whole "game" of messing with your personal data is not being done because somebody loves you a lot. It is just another root for a variety of possible scams, since most of us do not double-check this data, till it is either too late, or till we cannot. In step two, we assume a little bit of familiarity with the RTI Act, and if you don't have that, then there is no dearth of organisations all over the country, as well as online, who will help you draft a simple RTI application and send it to the EPFO offices.
    In this RTI application you are basically asking the EPFO for the same information as you have already asked your employers for, that is listed above, but in addition you will also want to ask the EPFO for some extra information. Like,
    # Information on any existing frauds or investigations in the EPFO office relevant to your account.
    # Information on any and all correspondence between the EPFO office and the company.
    And two additional queries, which are important, too:
    # If any of the above said statutory records are not available, the complete details of how it was destroyed/weeded out in each case.
    # Electronic access to the catalogue (or catalogues) of all records of your public authority duly indexed in a manner and the form to facilitate right to information, either over the computer networks, or in the form of a diskette, or other electronic media at the prescribed fees.
    Please note, while you are not obliged to send a copy of this RTI application to your employer, it helps if you do so, since, on receiving it, they will hopefully take on a very grieved and hurt approach, and then run around really fast to fulfil all compliances at their end, and respond to the first letter you wrote to them  that they probably ignored till then.

    The third step gets slightly complicated and will require the help of somebody who works in a bank, or is an accountant who knows how to calculate to the finest details possible the tricky business of compound interest on increasing balances. By this stage, presumably, you will have received a lot of paper and slips with present balances, carry-forward balances from previous years, interest earned, company contributions, deductions by EPFO for service charges and for pension, and other details.

    The most important piece of information here is that which tells you how much the company deposited on your behalf as your share, and the company's contribution. All these will be in formats that make mobile phone bills look like nursery primers, I have a few and have never been able to understand them , though my CA friends get their trainees to work on them and produce simple few line statements of flaws which show how the interest has been mis-calculated. Especially since the balance in your account was increasing month on month.

    And with this information on hand, you approach the EPFO office again; by now they know that you are a practitioner of the RTI Act and will hopefully be treating you with a lot more respect and caution.

    The question to the EPFO now is, 'What was the relevant date that the EPFO took to calculate the interest?' And you as an employee are not responsible for your employer defaulting or delaying in a choice of many ways; getting those defaults and penalties from the employer is the EPFO office's business, not yours.
    To complicate issues even more, the EPFO office often chooses to take into account what date the company deposited the money in the bank, what date the money came into the EPFO coffers, and most unfairly, what date the money started reflecting in that specific branch account. The local EPFO office will then take all these factors in a way that gives them (and the employer) the maximum benefit, and you bear the loss. There have been cases where interest is simply not applied on the pending sums for months, or the increased balances are not reflected, thereby resulting in reduced interest earnings.
    In actual fact, the EPFO is supposed to calculate interest for the increased amount on a monthly basis, on the 1st of the month it was due for, even if there were any defaults or delays by the employer or in transit. As far as the employee is concerned, the EPFO deductions and company contributions were made in their salary slip on the last date of the month, and need to be reflected as with EPFO on the 1st of the month, that is, the next day. All losses incurred by the EPFO due to default or delay by the employer are supposed to be collected from the employer, with penalties.

    You now have to take these calculations, set them off against the details gathered above, and demand that the EPFO corrects their records in your case accordingly. And if you have got so far, then do your friends, colleagues, fellow employees and ex-employees a favour, and demand that the EPFO correct the interest calculations for them, too, along the same lines.
    This, however, is only as far as your main component of EPFO is concerned. There are a few more elements, which shall be addressed in subsequent articles, like,
    # Pension under the EPFO scheme.
    # Lower or no contribution to EPFO by your employer.

    Do feel free to write for more guidance on these aspects, if necessary, at [email protected].

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    Govindaraju Adabala

    4 years ago

    Good morning sir my pf account Date of joining is rong please telme correction process
    thanking you sir


    9 years ago

    EPFO is headed by an IAS and manned by govt. servants who claim that they can do whatever they want as their topmost boss is above the law. All political parties in India, all union ministers, all CMs, all leaders have accepted that it is not possible to annoy the bureaucracy and hence none in govt. service is bothered about the CVC or the CBI. Everything in Indian government is purchasable. Hence, it is no use writing about EPFO. The organisation lives by corruption. One does not get to the top just by remaining honest. In fact, in India, honesty and integrity in govt. service are positive disqualifications and this can be empirically proved inter alia by the history of the bureaucrats selected by all governments for all jobs everyehere in every respect of statecraft. The EPFO beneficiaries must suffer at the hands of the organisation and the head of EPFO does not care.



    In Reply to CJyoti 9 years ago

    Dear C Jyoti ji, thank you for writing in. Humbly submitted, but I disagree with your view, and suggest you try a few RTI Applications directly to the Head Office of EPFO and see the results.

    There is a change in India, it takes time for this change, but it will happen. However, we have to make some effort too, and for that may i request you to please try along the lines I have written?

    Thanks and rgds/VM


    9 years ago




    In Reply to nn 9 years ago

    PPF is already available for online viewing through your Bank's website. My PPF acct is with SBI & is linked to my Savings account. I can do online txfer to my PPF acct from my Savings account. Have never visited SBI for PPF passbook updation in last 5 yrs as It is always available online :)

    R Nandy

    9 years ago

    This is a very timely article.
    I can also some other accounting discrepencies which are effected due to ommission and commision
    of EFP clerks.

    (1) Even after receiving the transferred amount for other PF trusts or EPFO all the ledgers are not update due to which effectively an accounting discrepency is created and money doesen't get reflected in the recepients
    account nor is interest accrued.In my case money received by Bangalore EPFO in 2007-8 is not yet reflected in my account.I had filed a grievance and they falsely closed the report that
    money is credited in account in 08-09 .I have further fileda grievance with account slip of 08-09 stating that no money is received as claimed by them.

    I have also visited their EFF office and did inspection of the account
    records. For many people in our organisation the transferred monies from pevious years are not added to their accounts.This was admitted by our company EPF agent.

    It seems they are reluctant to update account rcords and do it only once a
    years during Aug-Sept during statement generation.

    (2) The EPFO has also decided to stop giving interest for money for dormant account more than 3 years old. I am not sure how the trustees agreed to this.This will defraud
    lacks of poor people of their retirement savings as the procedure of EPFO is so cubersome that many people cant get the money transferred. They should have rather rolled out
    the unique EPF number and then initiated this measure to expediate the transfer all dormant accounts to the unique account number.

    (3)I am not sure if money is safe in the hands of the EPF.A major scam is waiting to happen as there is complete lack of transperancy.

    (4)The newly rolled out registration of mobile number for balance doese'nt work for me or my colleagues.This is guess is also another eyewash by the EPFO for the ministers and the public.

    (5)RTI seems to be the most effective step as it seems even the company EFP agent is also in a helpless situation to provide details.I also feel the EPF clerks are indulging in rent
    seeking after a discussion with one of their clerks.

    R Nandy



    In Reply to R Nandy 9 years ago

    Dear Nandy ji, thank you for writing in.

    You are correct, EPFO accounts appear to be a scam waiting to explode, but hopefully correctives are being applied. I did meet some senior EPFO people at their HO, and their point of view was that over-dependence by companies as well as members/employees on agents meant that they received hardly any direct feedback, and that they encouraged the same direct to HO.

    Updating of ledgers, crediting of amounts, calculation of interest, all this and more is all very opaque, and the person at the bottom of the chain, the employee, seems to get the worst end of the stick. Which is why many people who know about EPFO call it a "tax", implying that it is money that will never come back - or even if it does, it will be diluted.

    Please file RTIs on the subject, they were never easier.

    best regards/VM

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